Truisms in songs

I was reading an article about Jenny Holzer and her truisms. Her truisms are presented artistically, projected over buildings as an example. It struck me how songs are often built around a truism or a truism steps out of the song for a listener creating that special connection to it.  Here are two cool truisms from Jenny Holzer:

Money creates taste

The abuse of power comes as no surprise

I like truisms and think you can make a whole song on a good one. One of the first ones for me that I can remember became the 258th best pick up line (which you can hear on the Solosex page):

don’t stick your neck out unless you’re prepared to lose it

don’t stick your tongue out unless you’re prepared to use it

Maybe that’s two – at least they play off of each other.

One of my favourites is from Neil Young’s Old Man:

doesn’t mean that much to me to mean that much to you

And ironincally, another one of my favourites from Poison Idea’s It’s an Action:

you can’t change the world but you can change yourself

I misunderstood the lyric for years and thought it was:

you can’t change the world because you can’t change your self

I would often say it that way to complaining people who don’t take action. Now that I think about it, maybe it would be better as:

you can change the world if you change yourself

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